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How Venice’s Love Yoga is bringing chilled-out surfer vibes back to the mat


love_yoga_LA_mural_facing_backKyle Miller’s been part of the Los Angeles yoga scene since she was literally in the womb—her mom was a regular at Yogaworks in Santa Monica throughout her pregnancy.

And two years after moving back from New York City, where she spent nearly a decade studying the Jivamukti method and serving as yoga director at Yoga Vida, Miller is making serious waves in her hometown as the head of yoga and retreats at LA’s new Love Yoga studio, which originated in Montauk in 2009 and debuted this month in Venice.

As Miller puts it, Love is designed to be the antidote to the ultra-athletic, high-intensity classes that have been overtaking LA’s yoga studios in recent years.

“We feel very strongly that it’s not a power yoga studio,” says Miller. “I found that classes in this neighborhood are so demanding and challenging that I’ve wanted to practice less than I have in the past 10 years. We don’t want you to come in here and feel like it’s a chore; we want you to truly enjoy your time here and have it be a luxurious refuge from your day.” (Hello, healthy serving of savasana.)

Read on to learn more about how Love is shaking up the scene from Miller, who dishes on its surf-inspired philosophy to its celebrity teacher roster to the mural you’re about to see all over Instagram. —Erin Magner

love_yoga_LAWhy are Angelenos so obsessed with pushing themselves on the mat?
There are a few amazing teachers who do [a more powerful style of yoga] with grace and a calm presence, and I think since they became popular, every teacher started [upping the intensity]. The students think if you’re sweating that bad and you’re that exhausted, you must have worked hard! But you don’t need to work that hard to aerate, oxygenate, flush, and reestablish efficiency in the skeleton.

How is your approach different?
There’s a grace and ease about the whole thing—it feels good the whole time. It’s like surfing: sometimes you rip and glide, and other days it’s not gonna happen as much. But you accept it and still love it. You’re not forcing anything.

love_yoga_LA_mural_facing_frontHow else has that SoCal mentality inspired the studio?
Something we’re really passionate about is having a design-conscious space [that reflects] where our community likes to hang out—like General Store, like Superba [Food + Bread], like Flowerboy, the new cute coffee shop across the street. So we had to get Topanga-based artist Carly Margolis to paint artwork here because we know all the local girls love her and we like that Topanga vibe.

You’ve also got some pretty amazing teachers that locals love.
We’re so lucky to have Caley Alyssa, Liz Arch, and Mary Beth LaRue, who lives down the street—we see her walking her dog every day! And then teachers like like Sheri Uslander from Katonah Yoga and Jessie Barr, who I taught alongside for many years at Yoga Vida—they’ve moved out here now [from New York] and so we grabbed them.

What can we expect from their classes?
Our classes are 60–75 minutes so you can squeeze them into your lunch break. We have a one- to five-minute meditation in every single class, so I think that sets us apart. You can come five days a week and not burn out—you don’t have to be a yoga teacher to keep up.

For more information, visit loveyogaspace.com

(Photos: Love Yoga)

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